The substantial and well known citizen whose name heads this sketch — Kenry Zolper — is a contractor in brick and stone work at Mendota, where he resides in a modern residence of his own building, on Burlington street, between Twelfth and Thirteenth avenues. A sketch of his life is appropriate in this work, and is as follows:
Henry Zolper, as the name indicates, is of German descent. He was born in Peru, Illinois, November 15, 1855, a son of Henry and Eva (Trecker) Zolper, natives of Germany. Their family is composed of four children, two sons and two daughters, as follows: Henry; Catherine, wife of Mat Reckinger; Elizabeth, wife of Christopher Burg; and Peter J. Henry is of the third generation that has followed the trade of brick and stone mason, both his father and grandfather before him having been masons. The father of our subject on coming to this country in 1852 settled in Peru, Illinois, where he worked at his trade and did contracting until 1867, when he moved to Troy Grove, this state. There he passed the rest of his life and died in 1897, at the age of sixty-eight years. His first wife died in 1864. Some years later he married Miss Elizabeth Hernscheidt, but by her had no children.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was Peter Zolper. As above stated, he was a brick and stone mason. He lived and died in Germany, and at the time of his death w-as sixty-two years of age. In his family were four children.
The maternal grandfather also was named Peter. Peter Trecker was a German, a carpenter by trade, who came to America about 1852, and settled at Peru, Illinois, where he died at the age of seventy-two years. He had six children.
Henry Zolper, the immediate subject of this review, lived in Peru until he was twelve years old, attending the parochial and public schools, and from that time on his youthful days were passed on the farm, his education being continued in the common schools. His mother died when he was nine years old and for nineteen years thereafter his father remained a widower. When he was fifteen young Henry began learning the trade of brick and stone mason, which he has followed ever since. He moved to Mendota in February, 1898. Previous to this he had established a large business here and at other points in the county, doing all kinds of brick and stone work, and making a specialty of cement or manufactured stone sidewalks. His business career thus far has been a successful one and he has accumulated valuable property.
Mr. Zolper was married April 18, 1882, to Miss Mary Reck, daughter of Peter and Barbara (Kratz) Reck, natives of Germany and for many years farmers in Troy Grove township, LaSalle county, Illinois, their residence in this county dating from 1848. To Mr. and Mrs. Zolper were born three sons, Harry W., Joseph L. and Benedict J. Mrs. Zolper died in 1889, at the age of thirty-six years. She was a devout member of the Catholic church, as also is Mr. Zolper and as were his father and mother. Mr. Zolper maintains fraternal relations with the Catholic Foresters, M. W. A. and the A. O. U. W. Politically he is a Republican.
Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 456-458.